When asked by Bill Moyers “what is the meaning of life?” Joseph Campbell replied, “I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”
The Fullness of Being Alive
How so absolutely real is that! After visiting India and Nepal, and being immersed in the experience of other cultures brought “the experience of being alive” up front and personal. I saw and felt both the rawness of poverty co-exist alongside the comfort of wealth, and latest mobile technologies being used along side women filling vessels from community water pumps. It's those in-your-face contrasts that jolt us into the fullness of being alive.
If we don't experience the fullness of life personally, we can vicariously. We see more and more reality TV shows in the US which expose us to aspects of life that maybe outside our own experiences. For example, where bosses are going undercover into the trenches to experience what it's like to work in their own companies outside their board rooms; where couples race around the world and experience many difference cultures and environments; where cooks initiative food revolutions to expose school kids to food that is different from their regular, routine food in the hope to introduce healthier diets that will create greater awareness of what it takes to live a healthier life style, free from fatal diseases associated with obesity. And there are so many others that open us up to the fullness of being alive.
Awareness is the first step in any change. If we can suspend judgment and see others as they are, it opens us up to seeing the wholeness of life with an appreciation of difference and what it could be like to be in someone else's shoes. With such awareness, we begin to expand our own perspectives and the experience of being alive, and with that, comes the principle of Ubuntu – I am because you are.
My dream for a more equitable, loving world, where communities can sustain themselves, women increasingly take public leadership roles, in the home, in business and governments, children are literate, and wealth is more evenly distributed is being realized bit-by-bit. This bit-by-bit phenomenon is growing. Social entrepreneurs, who believe in patient capital, participatory leadership and mindsets, and social media that instantly spread messages, are powerful facilitators of this positive, equitable trend.
If you too embrace the “fullness of being alive”, with optimism, hope and possibility, how is it showing up for you?